Number One : It’s not for everyone. I’m a YA writer, and I know that not everyone likes YA Fiction. I like to think that my novella, Piercing Through the Darkness, is for all types of readers. In fact, hardly any Young Adults have read it (that I know of at least). But, my current work in progress is YA. It’s about a high school senior who is being terrorized by her parents’ murderer. So, I know that it doesn’t always work for everyone. (I’m not limited to YA though. My short stories tend to be more adult-oriented. Just had to throw that in there. ;))
Number Two : I feel like I don’t add enough description of my settings, and especially characters, at times. When I’m writing, I know what everything looks like, so I have a hard time remembering to let other people in on the secret. Description is just as important as believable characters and a good plot.
Number Three : I’m bad about using filter words. (This also relates to number two.) Filter words are varieties of these phrases.
- to see, to hear ,to think, to touch, to wonder, to realize, to watch, to look, to seem, to feel (or feel like), can, to decide, to sound (or sound like), to know
As she says in her post, they weaken your fiction. I have actually started filtering my filter words, so my writing is improving. I have to be careful though.
Number Four : My characters can get a bit chatty. I love dialogue, but I have to watch out. I have a difficult time making sure my characters don’t talk too much. Although, it’s hard not to make your characters somewhat chatty when there’s a psychiatrist involved…
Finally… Number Five : I have a problem with overusing the word just. Here’s an example taken from my current WIP:
Landon tries changing the subject to trivial things such as the win our high school football team pulled off last night and how he dreads writing the English paper. We all try to keep the conversation going, but it just isn’t working out.
Our food comes, and we busy ourselves with eating. Well, mostly I just pick at my food. I eat a few bites because Christian stares at me until I give in. I start to feel sick again, so I push my plate away. He looks at me, but this time I don’t give in to him. I just can’t force myself to eat another bite.
I keep thinking about what is going on in my life. It has all just turned to a jumbled mess. I have not only told the one secret that can get me killed, my brother hates me and Landon and Christian, who happen to be best friends, are hardly talking to each other. I’m tearing our group apart.
Sometimes, I feel like the word just is important to the sentence, but I have to make sure I don’t use it all of the times. The last thing I want to do is beat my readers over the head with repetition.
Believe it or not, I’m not just downing my fiction (look, I just used just…twice. ;)). I want to make sure that I know what’s wrong with my WIP in order to make it better and more enjoyable by all (Well, the people who will read it at least.). With my top five reasons my writing sucks, I can take away what is bad about it and make it good. Hopefully.